We are in the midst of Advent, the start of the Christian liturgical year. The four Sundays of Advent symbolize hope, faith, joy and peace. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, we can all use the reminder of these Advent messages. Don’t we all need more peace or joy, especially as we head into the darkest time of the year? December 21st, the solstice, marks the beginning of winter and the time when daylight imperceptibly starts lengthening.
The end of the year is an appropriate time for looking back and looking forward. While the month of January is named for Janus, the two-headed god of beginnings, December is also a month of transition and a time to look to the past and future. What is working? What needs tweaking? What has outlived its usefulness?
When Jane and I started collaborating on Index Card Cure™ (ICC), it was a step into the unknown and continues to be a work in progress. Along the way, we’ve adjusted. Over a year ago, we changed the blog’s look with a different WordPress theme. Check out the archived posts to see what a good decision that was. When we met recently, we tallied our readers (thanks to both of you!) and identified what posts got the most views. We decided to review and renew our focus, but to keep writing for these reasons:
- Regular connection time with each other. Not only do we post weekly, but we also check-in with each other regularly via Skype.
- Discipline of writing. One becomes a writer by writing, not by reading about writing or taking classes in writing. Jane is already a real writer with four published books and two more in the queue. She has taken an idea from concept to finished product; including finding an illustrator and figuring out the details of uploading manuscripts and marketing titles.
- Exploring and clarifying topics of interest. I am more attuned to situations that arouse emotion or passion. The process of writing helps me understand why I feel strongly about certain things.
- Mindfulness: I have heightened awareness of topics that might provide material, knowing I have a writing deadline.
- Intentional growth: As Einstein said, “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” Older happens; smarter is optional.
ICC is part legacy writing and part “This I Believe…” essay. Jane and I both wish that we had something written by deceased family members. Photographs give an image but an incomplete sense of who people were. What made them happy? How did they resolve challenges, or not? What relationships were important? What did they believe in?
Time passes and cannot be recaptured. We may not aim for complicated, but if we keep adding things or commitments without pausing and pruning, life gets scattered and cluttered. Like taking a photo, writing allows us to recall and express a moment; distilling the essence. While life can’t be reduced to an index card, certain elements can, so ICC helps us examine deeply, calibrate and curate.
We look back in gratefulness and look forward to the New Year with its opportunities to re-orient and recommit. “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward all.
© Joan S Grey, 8 DEC 2015